I used to live in New Zealand until life changed. At 50 years of age I was made redundant from a career that I knew well. My twenty five years as a Commercial Real Estate Specialist was over. So I went home and rennovated the kitchen and totally landscaped the back yard before I joined forces with a couple of my University colleagues and started a new business. What a blast that was, starting from the ground up with everything in front of us. The business took off.
Then one Sunday in August 2008, I went to Church and from out of the blue I crashed big time. I later learnt that I was having a Mental Breakdown. That Sunday was the beginning of a journey that threw everything I used to know out the window. The grace and strength of my family has truly been the foundation from which I have slowly rebuilt myself. My Mum and Dad, my sisters and my beloved children, Briar, Megan & Jessie have been the strength from which I have risen again to where I am today.
Today, I work in the Agricultural Industry in the USA and drive trucks in New Zealand. I travel back and forth between the USA and New Zealand working in both countries. My life has now become a seven day weekend with each day a precious gift. I have learnt to embrace the moment, let what has happened in the past go and plan for a future instead of worrying about what is to come. I can dream again for a future with some sense of enthusiasm. Sounds easy to say.
This chapter in my novel of my life began in April 2011 when I left NZ and started work in Northern Texas. Not many people believed I could make it but what other choices did I have. The first month was like "baptism by fire". Everything was new, unfamiliar with no one or anything to fall back on, no experience, no family, no wife, no money, nothing except the safety net of my elderly parents being prepared to fly half way round the world to come and get me if I didn't make it.
In 2012 I returned to Northern Texas and was responsible for the welfare of 20 plus people in the Harvest Crew in the USA, their induction, the co-ordination of trucks and drivers throughout harvest plus a myriad of other issues associated with people management. How did I go? Ok I think. I was asked by the business owners to return so that is a plus. Sometimes it was fun and sometimes it was a challenge. When I live and work in the USA, I get to travel to all sorts of places that I would never have dreamed I would see. I meet people from all walks of life and share stories about our respective lives. As I slip into a restful sleep at the end of a day I know for sure that I have met someone, done a task, helped a person, learnt something new, stopped and admired natures beauty somewhere out there and lived the day. We never know less if we are open to life around us.?
2013 was a year of consolidation in New Zealand living with my Mum & Dad. We thought that we were going to loose my Mum, but thankfully that has not happened. I worked for a transport and improved my truck driving skills.
2014 has taken me to Gettysburg, South Dakota where I work for the Brown family on one of their 100,000 acre cropping farms. This is a whole different deal to making silage. Lots of different things to do.
So what is my dream? To write a book where I tell a story about some of the photos I take. That's one of them at least. To own my own home again, a little cottage overlooking some land surrounded by lots of trees and perhaps a view of the sea. To love and be loved again, that would be nice. To hold my grandchildren in my arms (when they arrive) and to one day meet Sandra Bullock face to face.
Come with me on this life journey and perhaps you may see something or read something that strikes a chord within you to follow one of your dreams. Whatever happens, it's nice to have you along with me on this true adventure.